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Shu Geng
In Memoriam

Shu Geng

Professor of Agronomy, Emeritus

UC Davis
Shu Geng was born in China and later emigrated to Taiwan. He received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from National Taiwan University and then came to the United States where he received his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from Kansas State University. After working for the Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan for several years, he was recruited as a biostatistician to the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to support the teaching, consulting, and research needs in experimental statistics. He joined the UC Davis faculty in 1976 and was based in the Department of Agronomy and Range Science. He became a full professor in 1984. He served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences for several years. He retired in 2010 and was an active Professor Emeritus in the Department of Plant Sciences.

Shu was also very much interested in service and teaching, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. As consulting statistician, he provided this service to many UC Davis faculty and graduate students. Often these consultations turned into productive collaborations resulting in many peer-reviewed publications. With the late Jack Hills he wrote the text Biometrics in Agricultural Science, which served as the fundamental text for the primary undergraduate biostatistics course at UC Davis for many years. He received the Instructional Technology Award from UC Davis in 1992. He also taught statistics at the graduate level and supervised the theses and dissertations of many graduate students. He was a popular advisor and was known for his sincere concern for students’ welfare, both personal and academic.

He developed a research program on the applications of statistical analysis to the improvement of methods of sustainable crop production, both in the United States and internationally. Shu was one of the earliest to recognize that global climate change would have an impact on US crop production and was one of the first to use statistical analysis to forecast the effects of climate change on agricultural productivity and sustainability. Working with his graduate students, he did extensive research on the interaction between wildlife and crops and on sustainable methods of mammalian pest management. He also studied the movement of pesticides and other inputs at the landscape level. He was elected Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

As his career evolved, Shu became more and more interested in landscape level issues affecting and affected by crop production. He also became more and more active in international agriculture, particularly in Asia. After his retirement he forged vital links between UC Davis and numerous Chinese academic and research institutions, including the founding of the UC Education Abroad Program in Beijing in 2006. He served as Founding Dean of the Graduate School of Environment and Energy at Peking University in Shenzhen, China as well as Founding Director of the Sino-U.S. Food Safety Research Center.

Shu is survived by Carolyn his wife of 49 years and children Elvin, Associate Professor at UCSF and Joy, Associate Professor at UC Davis.

James E. Hill
Richard Plant
Calvin O. Qualset
D. W. Rains